Dog's Bark Prompts Officer's Bite: Suit Claims Cop Aimed for Canine, Shot Woman Instead


Officer Donald Williams Knotts
  • Officer Donald Williams Knotts
Poor, poor Linda Hicks of Washington Park, Illinois.

She was only trying to do the right thing last year when she called the police to remove her disruptive son from her home.

In a lawsuit filed in St. Clair County, Hicks alleges that Washington Park police officer Donald Williams arrived at her home last December and promptly arrested her son for an outstanding warrant.

Then the situation got strange.

As noted yesterday in the Madison Record, Hicks' lawsuit states:  
"As the officers were taking the plaintiff's son to the squad car, plaintiff's dog barked at Officer Williams. Apparently startled, Williams discharged his official firearm twice in the direction of the dog. The bullet or the ricochet of the bullet struck plaintiff in the leg."
The suit accuses Williams of firing his weapon in the absence of a legitimate threat and discharging a firearm contrary to police policy. Hicks is suing both Williams and the Village of Washington Park. She's seeking at least $100,000 for her injuries.

Oh and the dog? Apparently it lived to bark another day.

Riverfront Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of St. Louis and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep St. Louis' true free press free.